Friendship, Family, and the New Year


Yilang Lu, Region II SAC

January 3, 2018

The holidays have just passed, what have you done? Did you go back home and spend your time with your family? Did you call every family member and wish them a “Happy Holidays” or a “Happy New Year?” Did you call them and tell them you love them? Did you exchange gifts? Did the word “Family” even come to mind?

The importance of staying connected with Friends and Family by Alexander Spradlin (1981) lists some of the research that has been done on the topic. It states “the more a person feels they have friends and family who are there for them, the less likely they are to feel depressed and anxious (Turner, 1981).” Conversely, “family” is such a profound word that is not easy to understand. The definition I got from for family is “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.” Obviously, this definition is not the same for everybody. We all have our own circles and bonds. Our mentors, co-workers, friends, soulmates, and so on, could potentially become part of our family. My family circle consists of my biological parents and my younger brother, but it also includes my three beloved friends that I call sisters and my best friend I call brother. I also view my mentors and co-workers as part of my family. It could be very different for you or, it could be very similar. One thing is for sure: family will continue to evolve as we walk through the journey of life.

Everyone has their own lives and journeys. Often, we get too caught up in our own life. We just keep on marching forward, but we might not take a breath or a moment to stop and look beside (at people that became family) or behind (our biological family). I don’t always do the best job at it, but this holiday season I made sure to show more gratitude towards the people I call family. I called my three friends (sisters) and my best friend (brother) right away, wished them happy holidays, told them I loved them and thanked them for being in my life! I also wished all the other important people in my life happy holidays and showed them my appreciation. I don’t think there is such a thing as saying too much or showing too much of love towards someone that you call family.

The famous writer, poet, and journalist Antonine de Saint-Exupery once said: “the time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.” If you haven’t done anything special during the holidays for the people that you call family, then go and do it now. It doesn’t have to be something big or amazing. It can be as small as picking up the phone that’s right next to you and calling them. Tell them you love them! Tell them you are grateful that they are part of your life! By doing so, you not only start your year with love and energy, but you also give the motivation and power to get through the new year.

From my family to yours, Happy New Year!

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